Help? New to this. need advice(2 Posts)
Me and me ex broke up 11 years ago when our daughter was 6 months old. He has had no contact or paid any maintenance. She has just started high school and a relative of her fathers wife has approached her saying she is her cousin and told her all about her dad and his kids (they live in the same town still), she has been told that her dad wants to see her and that I wont let him, which is not the case at all. My daughter is now terrified that her dad is going to turn up at school wanting to speak to her. After 11 years of no contact does he have any rights? I have explained to her that if she wants to get to know him and his family I will try to get in touch with him. She wants no contact. I am unsure of where I stand with this, we have never been to court as he just walked away, I have never chased for money or contact. At 11 years old does my daughter have rights to refuse contact?
He can't click his fingers and expect to have a relationship with her after 11 years. You are doing the right thing to let her decide. If he does want to make contact (and he may well not - the relative might be interfering without his knowledge) then you can pass on the message from her that she doesn't want contact and if he doesn't like that then he can ultimately take you to court. I'm not a lawyer but in am not aware of any reprisals on you for not insisting she makes contact when she doesn't want to, not unless there was already a court order.
I'd be surprised if he got court ordered contact after 11 years out of her life but if it happens you and your daughter will face and deal with that at a later stage. Don't worry about it now.
I'd actually be surprised if he really wants to force the issue - if he comes out of the woodwork you can clobber him with maintenance payments, after all.
Please let the school know what is going on if the approach came during school hours. And if you are unable to collect DD from schoo make sure she has a phone, you on speed dial and practise what to do if she is approached again. (Saying 'I'm not interested' and immediately phoning you or walking back into school property, perhaps?)
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